How the Sales Tax Holiday Can Boost Your Back-to-School Savings

Tax Planning Stock Photo by Sean Locke

With several of my family members working in the education field, I know it will be only a matter of time before I’ll get tweets and Facebook shares on the back to school deals they find. Depending on where you live, your state may be offering huge savings with a sales tax-free shopping weekend on specific purchases. With state sales tax ranging four to ten%, that means more money in your pocket.

Dates vary, but this year many states are having it the first full weekend in August. You can check here for more details on which states are offering sales tax holidays. While not all states participate, you may be able to enjoy tax-free shopping for school supplies in several states including Texas, Iowa, and Connecticut. If you have several kids going to school this year, you can boost your savings picking up paper, pens, calculators, and backpacks. Speaking of saving money, you can get even better deals on the bigger ticket items – namely laptops and tablets.

Getting the Bigger Bang for Buck with Laptops

You don’t want to buy a laptop because it was on sale only to see it slow or break down in a year. While specs change year to year, here are some guidelines to help you get technology that will last.

  • If your kid needs a computer they can easily tote with them for notes, but not to run highly specialized programs, you may want to get a tablet instead. There are some wonderful bundles that give you a tablet (with warranty) and a case at a great bargain.
  • They can use the tablet while at school and then do the heavy lifting on the home computer. For those who need more processing power, but still want the portability of a tablet, getting a hybrid like the Microsoft Surface or Lenovo Yoga may be the right ticket for you.
  • High school and college students may need a laptop to keep up with their coursework. New processors come out, but right now you can get incredible performance with some older models. Those who are using programs like Adobe Photoshop and Unity (to design video games) will want to make sure that their computer has plenty of memory, at least 8GB RAM.
  • You also want to check out reviews and make sure you get a laptop with a reputation for good battery life (at least 9 hours).

I hope this helps you prepare your shopping list and figure out how you can save in advance. What supplies do you need to pick up this upcoming school year?

Comments (5) Leave your comment

  1. Figures that Calif does not do this. For a state that is already broke (well that is what they tell us) helping schools for a change, would be just so not them. With all the money the lottery gives, why could they not help “Families” who live in this state. That would be to much like right…

  2. This is confusing — according to this site Oklahoma is 8/1, but on the OK Sales Tax website it is 8/7 to 8/9

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